I'm sorry but I'm failing to see your logic here - imagine the Yamato class with Iowa class AA in the mediterranean under attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted), or trying to tackle the mine defenses/uboats/s-boats of occupied France or the Netherlands... How exactly would she be better off? She'll absorb more bombs and torpedoes before sinking but she has even less chance of accomplishing something than the carrier before she goes down. Just because it IS POSSIBLE to counter a carrier by massing enough aircraft is not an argument in favour of the battleship but rather an argument for massing more carriers or not getting involved in a war with such a power in the first place.
We're on different pages here.
What I said was that a properly defended battleship could destroy vast numbers of aircraft (as demonstrated by US battleships, British battleships, and to some extent German battleships after 1942). Yamato wasn't attacked by the airwing of 1 carrier, but of several, just like Musashi. Had a Japanese task-force with equal AA defense as a US task-force been present, I very much doubt either super-battleship would have been sunk.
Furthermore, my point wasn't thta battleship > carrier, but that even in the post-Midway world, the batleship still served an important role, and could accomplish some types of missions with better results than a carrier. Moreover, in balanced engamgements, the air-wings of carriers would be quickly wiped out, leaving a gun&torpedo battle to unfold, IF the 2 commanders decided to so. If they decide to engage or not was not my point, but the fact that a victory could only be achieved through an old-style battle
, because the bombers would be obliterated in teh first day.
But a battleship WAS dependant on small lightly defended units - for protection from opposing torpedo boats, submarines, mines, aircraft, etc.
I don't see the resemblence. A carrier left without planes is useless, while a modern battleship without protection from other ships can still hold it's own, through speed, manouvre (against torpedoes), AA gunfire (against planes), and heavy gunfire against surface ships.
As for "Far inland?" A battleship might strike up to 25 miles inland, but in order to do so she would have to be ajacent to the shoreline and an easy target for costal artillery, mines, light forces, submarines, and enemy airstrikes. A carrier, even using early war planes, could hit 100+ miles inland while remaining 100+ miles off shore and beyond the reach of many forms of retaliation.
Again, wer;re on different pages.
Of course a carrier may launch a strike even 400 miles inland, but if it would do so against targets with good fighter protection and/or large concentrations of modern AA guns, they would lose their entire waves of attack very quickly.
Again, I think you are overestimating the capabilities of the carrier in the Mediteranean and the North Atlantic, by observing only the attacks they did against poorly defended targets (Vittorio Venetto, Taranto, etc).
Think about teh raid 12 Albacores launched from Victorious against Tirpitz (1942). No hits, 2 Albacores shot down, and "several" badly damaged.
Or about operation Pedestal, during the battle of Malta: 4 heavily defended RN carriers tried desperately to hold off the waves of (land-based) attacking planes, in order to allow 14 heavily-loaded merchant ships to reach Malta. Only 5 convoy ships reached the destination; 1 carrier sunk (Eagle), 2 damaged (Furious, Victorious).
On the flip side in the much more common situation where the balance of air power tips to one side or the other it's kinda hard to find examples of battles where the side left with the greater air power wasn't the side that came out on top.
That is because the only
examples of carrier-to-carrier action fo the war were those of USN vs IJN. Imagine another one, with comparable technology for either side.
You counter your own argument - the Carrier was most effective because the allies obtained air supremacy very early in the war. If air supremacy allows weapons to be so effective then one must ask what gained air supremacy? Answer: Aircraft. .
The Japanese failed to train pilots at the rate needed to keep supplied the fleet and the land-based bases. The losses at Midway, Coral Sea and Solomon Islands (about 600 crews) were still not recuperated during battle of Leyte, 1.5 years later
They also failed to produce AA systems comparable to the Allies, or to the German ones.
So yes, the US carriers did obtain air supremacy, but that was because the Japanese lacked the means and/or the coordonation to keep their anti-aircraft arm (fighters + AA guns) up to strength...
Think about US carriers against German-type AA gunfire + Me-109G/K + FW-190D-2/D-9...